A SINGLE dad told how he was “devastated” that his son was now fighting for his life in a coma after being diagnosed with a rare heart condition.
Craig Milne (36) spoke to the Advertiser from 11-year-old Kallum’s bedside at Leeds General Infirmary, after the youngster was transferred there when doctors at Rotherham Hospital confirmed he had damaged arterial tubes.
Kallum — previously a “healthy boy” who loved playing football — will need a heart transplant to save his life.
Craig, of Aston, said Kallum’s condition had changed “drastically” within days.
He told the Advertiser: “I’m absolutely devastated to see my son like this. “No parent should have to go through this situation.
“You feel helpless and it is so frustrating that you can’t do anything for them.
“I keep breaking down emotionally but I have to be strong for my son.
“It’s such a shame how his condition has changed so drastically because Kallum was a healthy boy before.
“He is such a lovely lad who is kind, always smiling and very polite. He didn’t deserve any of this to happen to him.
“I feel helpless as a parent because there’s very little I can do except be here, supporting my son.”
Craig (36) explained how Kallum had first become poorly about a month ago, losing his appetite for food and being more tired than usual.
“The doctors had initially said that he had an iron deficiency and would require medication,” said Craig.
“But this didn’t improve his condition and he got worse.
“Then his foot started to swell up and I had to take him to Rotherham Hospital as soon as I could.
“Shortly after, he was transferred immediately to LGI because the doctors told me he had a serious heart condition.
“He was then placed in an induced coma to give his heart a rest because it isn’t pumping blood to the body as it should, meaning his vital organs are getting worse, too.”
Craig said he had been told Kallum would need a heart transplant in the near future, which could be a “long and difficult process”.
Craig added: “He’s in the best hands at LGI because they are specialists in heart problems.
“We did receive some good news that he will be a priority patient if he gets accepted onto a heart transplant list.
“We’re hoping he will be accepted onto the list soon but then it is a case of finding a donor.
“But no matter how long it takes, whether that’s six weeks or six months, I will be here for my son.
“I want to be here for him every single moment of his recovery.”
Self-employed Craig has been forced to miss work as a groundworker to be with Kallum in hospital, meaning he has no money coming in.
But family friend Jason Sharpe set up a GoFundMe appeal which has raised more than £5,000 from an initial £500 target.
Jason said the stress of the situation had been “overwhelming” for Craig and he wanted to help the best way he could.
“I have been friends with Craig for a long time now and Kallum is a friend of my son Carter,” said Jason.
“We spent time together on holidays and it was heartbreaking to hear the sad news.”
Craig said he was very thankful to those who had donated and felt the money would “take a weight off his shoulders” so he can focus on Kallum.
He says: “I’ve known Jason for years and he is a really good guy. I really can’t thank him enough for what he’s done.
“It means so much to me that people have been so generous and kind. It will help to take a weight off my shoulder and means I can be here for as long as it takes until Kallum makes a full recovery.”
Visit tinyurl.com/KallumMilne to support the GoFundMe appeal.